With the rising cost of renting, one ambitious Midlands couple were driven to step onto the property ladder aged just 19 and 20, with some assistance from Help to Buy. Here’s how they did it…
Customer Service worker Joshua Shaw (20) and Deputy Manager Wiktoria Zaucha (19) knew that renting wasn’t for them, so decided to pool their saving towards a home of their own! Whilst each already had some savings, the couple decided to cut back on everyday luxuries, such as meals out with friends, in a bid to save as much as possible for a house deposit.
After just six months, they were able to put down a 5% deposit on their new Countryside home! Joshua explains: “We’ve both been saving for a while, just not necessarily to buy a house. However, when you look at the cost of renting, it just makes sense to invest in our own place, rather than someone else’s. Some people may think that buying at our age is unrealistic, but my honest opinion is that buying at 19 and 20 is completely achievable, if that’s genuinely what you want.
“If you go into employment after school, like we did, and are willing to sacrifice things like nights out, holidays and takeaways for a little while, then it’s definitely possible – that’s exactly how we did it! We’ve also been ‘sofa surfing’ for a while at family and friends’ houses, which isn’t ideal as we’d much prefer to have our own space. We just don’t want to throw money away on expensive rents, so it’ll all be worth it in the end.”
With a helping hand from Government’s Help to Buy scheme they were able to purchase their dream home, with just a 5% deposit and received a 20% loan that’s interest-free for the first five years.
Joshua continues: “I don’t think we would’ve been able to buy so soon if it wasn’t for Help to Buy. We didn’t know a lot about the scheme before we started looking, but the process has been quite straight forward. We were confident that a new build house was what we wanted, mainly because they’re lower maintenance than older homes. Neither of us have a lot of experience with DIY, so a new build just felt like the right fit for first time buyers like us.
“We did look at a few other developments around Birmingham, but we never felt like we were taken seriously because of our ages. With Countryside it was different, they were always available to help or answer questions.”
If you too want to take a page out of Joshua and Wiktoria’s book, hop onto the property ladder sooner with the Government’s Help To Buy scheme. Find out more by checking out our first time buyer FAQs about Help To Buy.